Former “Ex-Gay” Ministry Leader Publishes Book After Embracing Gay Identity
John Smid, former director of Love in Action, a ministry that was created to encourage gays to become “ex-gay,” has written a book about embracing his own gay identity. Smid was director of the ministry from 1990 until he left in 2008. He has written a new book, Ex’d Out: How I Fired the Shame Committee based on his journey into self-acceptance.
In 2005, Love in Action was protested by a group of gay activists in support of Zack Stark, who was sent by his parents after he came out to them as gay. Leading the activists was filmmaker Morgan Jon Fox, who later opened a dialogue with Smid. The teen program was closed in 2006 after Love in Action recognized that it was a flawed model.
Smid resigned from the program in 2008, and began to reevaluate his 22-year career with Love in Action and the ex-gay movement as a whole. He eventually wrote a public apology in 2010 and came out as gay a year later. Fox and Smid stood together in June 2011 in San Francisco, CA at the premiere of their film, This is What Love in Action Looks Like.
Smid’s journey is part of a nationwide discussion on the merits of forcing teens to “ex-gay” counseling, the very kind of counseling that Love in Action ended in 2006. As the potential for harm continued to gain notoriety, it led the California state legislature to ban forced reparative therapy for gay minors.
Within the pages of his new book, Ex’d Out: How I Fired the Shame Committee, he describes the journey that he embarked upon after he said “God, Surprise Me!” His journey will challenge many, it will cause questions for some, and it will hopefully bring courage and comfort to those who have experienced being gay, or someone they love who is, and have tried to understand God’s response to homosexuality.
For more information, contact John Smid at 901-270-3222 , or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Website is www.gracerivers.com
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